Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Endorsment for 2008: Barack Obama

With about five weeks to go, John McCain has suspended his campaign.

He says its to allow him to focus on the financial crises.

I guess we can just assume he'll be suspending his presidency each time his Google stock takes a tumble.

Let me be very clear: America can never fully repay the debt we owe to men like John McCain. There is not a person alive today that has any right to question John McCain's courage or devotion to his country. It is only fitting that I take this time to thank Senator McCain for his decades of service in defense of this nation.

But elections are about the future, not the past.

Over the last few weeks I've increasingly come to question McCain's judgment; between his choice of running mates, his confusion over the prime minister of Spain, his threat to fire the head of the SEC, seemingly without cause save the aforementioned drop in stock prices (I know there is a "meltdown" afoot, but McCain hardly articulated exactly how SEC chief could have prevented it). The "suspension" of his campaign and his attempt to postpone Friday's debate is just the latest in a what is becoming a pattern of erratic behavior and I'm beginning to seriously worry about John McCain condition. This could well portend either dementia or the early stages of Alzheimers. And I think I've made my disdain for a certain hockey mom waiting in the wings clear.

As for Obama, I think Tom Barnett said it best earlier today when he wrote:

McCain will be a presidency built around crisis. It's what he loves.

Obama's presidency will be conducted at room temperature: calm, cautious, careful, calculating.


Let me be very clear about something: I am now, and will remain for the foreseeable future, a Republican. If I ever switch parties it will be to Libertarian. I am not now, nor will I ever be a welfare/social liberal. My economic beliefs lie somewhere between Milton Friedman and Gordon Gecko. I think the world where Saddam Hussein is dead is preferable to the world where Saddam was alive and knowing what I know now I still think it was Saddam's time to go in '03. And I don't just pay lip service to the 2nd Amendment; if you see me out and about I am probably packin' (we fought a hard battle for concealed carry in this state).

But it is because I am a conservative; because I believe that government power must be applied judiciously; because I believe that a tax cut is not a tax cut if its cost are simply foisted upon future generations; because I know that the rule of law strengthens the legitimacy of government even while containing its power; because I realize that simply making big government less effective is not an acceptable substitute for the conservative goal of having a small but efficient government; it is for all these reasons that I am endorsing Illinois Senator Barack Obama for President.

I am not swept up in the cult of Obama. I realize he is not a perfect candidate, and once he is elected I have every intent to play the role of the loyal opposition if he tries to follow through on some of his goofier campaign promises. But the events of the last few weeks demonstrate that Barack Obama is serious about governing. His choice of running mate is nowhere near as "sexy" as John McCain's, but Joe Biden is a competent public servant whose decades of senate experience will help President Obama navigate the ends and outs of dealing with the legislative branch. And during this latest crisis, while John McCain has flailed about desperately switching messages by the hour Barack Obama has remained reasoned and rational, offering that he will have to reevaluate his new spending plans in light of the financial crisis, as McCain threatened to fire the head of the SEC, Obama offered Congress both guidance and wide latitude for compromise by outlining his criteria for a bailout.

While I do endorse Barack Obama for President I continue to endorse Republicans in every other race. Like Clinton, President Obama would perform best with a divided government, which would allow the U.S. to gain all the public diplomacy benefits of an Obama presidency while constraining the lesser of angels of the Democratic Party. That being said, an Republican retaking of either house is highly unlikely this year.

In conclusion, these last few weeks have demonstrated that John McCain has a predilection for making rash, politically expedient choices while Barack Obama has demonstrated the temperament and judgment to be commander and chief.

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